End of a Decade

Friday, 2 April 2010 02:21 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::firelady)
The first birthday card of the year arrived in the mail four days early. My first guess as I reached into the cavernous mail box, fingers searching for the small envelope was, "Ah, must be Mom."

I was mistaken. Ripping it open right there in the driveway, I was pleasantly surprised to be gifted with a lovely homemade card with beaded accents. Within was "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" stamped in a calming teal ink. Hand-written was, "Best Wishes From The Audubon Society."

How very, very cool. I've only been an official member for less than a month and the kind birding fanatics remembered my birthday. Even before my own mother. *chuckles*

It occurred to me this morning, as I poured my very dark, very rich, and very caffeinated coffee into my Cedars mug, that today is the last day of my 30's. Not simply the last day of a year, but the final day of a decade.

Whoa.

My pre-java-jolted brain wheeled from the significance of just how much time has past. Ten years of learning, stumbling, growing, hurting, loving, and coming into one's own. I started my 30th year in pure Wonder Woman fashion -- literally. Red, blue, white, and yellow streamers decorated my old apartment as Seasons 1 and 2 of the TV show played in the background. One friend brought a specially made WW cake, while another brought his muchly coveted Bennie Berry Juice. The party was filled with friends from all aspects of my life: childhood, dance club, wiccan, and other. I loved introducing them to each other and sitting back to watch the freaky geek sparks fly. The evening eventually ended up at the EMBERS where my dancing friends partied with me until I was the last one standing.

Thirty feels like so long ago. My third decade was when I became an ordained Priestess, loved three men, and watched my father die of prostate cancer. I nourished fledgling friendships and had two of them crash and burn before the decade was out. I made tons of mistakes, but was also gifted with just as many revelations. I wrote first drafts of four novels. I ballroom danced. I got corporately laid off three times and fired once. Now I am curious where my new career will take hold. I learned it was okay to be honest and to say "No". I learned who my real friends are. I learned that all the rebirths I've done from the ashes is not a punishment but what I am meant to do to be who I am. I gained weight and lost it and gained a little of it back. I grew hips on this once stick-straight body and grew my hair long. I reveled in being a redhead and embraced my inner geek. My sass has grown sharper and my heart stronger. I've learned I can be tough when the need calls for it, and be compassionate when others won't. I've learned what I am and what I'm not and have accepted both. All of this in just my third decade of life.


Forty will be awesome. There will be burning, there will be flames, there will be a Firebird spreading her wings; soaring over her old shell as she shines vibrantly in all that she is. And there may even be a margarita or three. Whatever this decade brings, I will not shy from it, I will not cower. I will look it proudly in the eyes and say, "Let's rock."

Life is a Beach

Thursday, 25 March 2010 11:26 pm
mutantenemy: (geek::pirates cooler than ninjas)
Or at least it was yesterday. Today was "Gonna enjoy the stormy spring weather by writing, reading, and knitting in my PJs" day.

My dear friend Hedwig, every year, takes the week of her birthday off. And every year, she treats herself to a day trip to the beach. More specifically, Lincoln City. And for the past four years or so, I've been able to accompany her on this little adventure.

The gods were definitely smiling down upon us as the skies were blue and the sun was practically obnoxious with its rays. We high-tailed it out of town, with Starbux in hand, early in the morning and arrived at the coast just before 10AM.

First stop? A little yarn shop we discovered last Spring. She acquired some lovely lace-weight yarn, while I picked up some beautiful yarn to knit into a pair of phoenix coloured socks. Heh-heh.

Second stop was none other than Crystal Wizard. Stones, tarot cards, incense, wands, anything a metaphysical practitioner needed, they supplied. Each time we visit we're not sure what to expect. Sometimes we only stay for about fifteen minutes, others we've been known to peruse the wares for over an hour. Yesterday we split the difference.

Lunch was had at the most famous chowder house in the PNW, Mo's, and then it was off to Depoe Bay for whale watching and YARRR pirates! Yet when we arrived, Hedwig noticed a new little store called "Things Rich & Strange". Not ones let an intriguing name pass us by, we popped inside and were greeted with the most classy and high end pagan products we've ever seen.

Not snobby. Not ostentatious. At first glance, one assumed they were walking past an independent art gallery. Yet upon closer scrutiny, if one was educated in symbols and mythology, it was very pagan. Well, okay, and maybe some of the Scott Cunningham and crystal reference books gave it away too.

But not everything there was of the shiny or spiritual bent.



I fell in love with this little guy right away. I transformed from a well poised customer to a dribbling geek squee in a matter of a nanosecond when I first saw him. So, of course, I took another photo of him.



(clickenzee to biggenzee)

Finally, Hedwig and I came to the final part of our trip -- the walk on the beach. Weather was gorgeous. Company was fun. The wind was insistent. And, I got to show off my new hat that I finished last week.



mutantenemy: (humour::shit happens)
Life has been a tad stressful, so my daily blogging and daily photos have had to take a backseat.

My job hunting has intensified as my UI benefits slowly dwindle down to zero. I've lost count to how many resumes I've submitted with nary a response in return. Fortunately, I did attend "Ignite Portland" last week and made a few connections thanks to a friend, as well as, received a few leads as to who is hiring.


Inside the Bagdad Theatre where Ignite Portland 8 was held.

Secondly, my adorable furrkid, Jameson, decided now was the opportune time to develop a nasty case of diarrhea. Two vet visits, two prescriptions, and about $400 later we still do not know exactly what is wrong with him. Popular theories are either an Irritable Bowel Disease or a food allergy. As the meds were screwing with his appetite, the vet recommended two days ago I take him off them. I did. And he wouldn't eat. Finally, this morning, his hunger overwhelming him, Jameson took to a plate of dry prescription cat food (Green Peas and Rabbit) and started eating again. I am thrilled. Nothing is more nerve wracking than a pet that will not eat.

Thirdly, I've been in a bit of funk the past two weeks. Nothing specific, just everything and nothing. When I'm in a funk, my creativity takes a dive and my motivation is full of blah. Jameson feeling better has relieved some of the stress, but I will feel more sure and secure once I find that elusive job.

In the meantime, let me share with you some photos I took in February at the Audubon Society's Wildlife Care Center Open House. My first venue in volunteering will be this month as I help maintain their sanctuary and hiking trails.

Clickenzee to biggenzee.



Aristophanes, Common Raven


Finnigan, Peregrine Falcon, Nature's Skydiver


Julio, Great Horned Owl


Hazel, Spotted Owl, sees what you did there



Syd, Red Tailed Hawk

Oh, Raptor!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010 09:00 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::redhawk)
Ten days ago the Audubon Society of Portland sponsored their quite unique and quite fun Raptor Road Trip off of Sauvie Island. This was my second year attending and apparently word traveled fast from the previous year because over 1,600 people showed up for the day.

Originally I was planning on going with my friend Hedwig, but the way things turned out, I ended up going by myself. Honestly, I LOVED going on my own. No schedule to keep and I could stay for as long or as short as I wanted at each designated look-out point.

This year I was prepared as I had a traveler's mug full of coffee, my camera with extra batteries, light layers, hat/gloves/raincoat in the trunk, my Peterson's Hawk Guide, and a thermos of spicy, black bean soup which can coat your ribs and shoo away the chills. I was ready for anything the Oregon weather decided to dish out.

A local joke in the PNW is if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. Well, I waited five, ten, fifteen and the day still opted to be perfect. Clouds hung back along the horizon and gave us Raptor Watchers a lovely, hazy sky. There was no glare which would provide squinting, nor cement gray darkness to make it difficult to spot eagles and the like.

I drove over the Sauvie Island Bridge around 8:50am, ten minutes before the event started. I was excited about what I might see this year as last year was breath-taking with all the bald eagles, hawks, and falcons.

This year did NOT disappoint. )

New Pen Luv

Sunday, 31 January 2010 02:41 pm
mutantenemy: (humour::crow SHINY!)
For those that read my journal, you are all aware I have junkie tendencies towards a few things in life. The list to date is as follows:

~Bags (messenger bags, backpacks, any colour, any size)
~Journals (currently I have 20 unused journals laying in wait)
~Office Supplies (ZOMG!! Get my organizational freak on!!)
~Yarn (the best pr0n around, mmmmmm, alpaca)
~Pens (colours, various tips, comfort, thickness)

Today while I did a quickie stop at the local Freddie's, I came upon the latest Sharpie writing pen.


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Around and about a year ago Sharpie introduced their first line of writing pens. I was thrilled because they offer them in my most favorite tip, what I call the Engineer Nib: very fine and not roller ball. The body of the pen was very slender, almost too difficult to hold for long bouts of journal writing for some folks. I've had no problems, but I could see how over time, it could become an issue of cramped fingers.

Well, it appears Sharpie has heard and version 2.0 has been released. Thicker, more robust body, easier to handle. I could choose between the simple cap design or a clicker design. As I am unsure how the Engineer Nib would not dry out with the clicker option, I chose the cap. Plus, the silver cap looks pretty darn cool.

I have new pen luv.

Buried Nuts

Thursday, 28 January 2010 05:14 pm
mutantenemy: (redhead::taking pix)
While opening my bedroom window, I was treated to a show by our resident Squirrel. He was brown/gray with a blue silver tail and a VERY big boy. No other squirrels dare mess with him.

Because I was out of his view, I had the luxury of watching him dart, twitch, and search around a nearby bush for a nut. Little paws dug here and poked there. Finally, success. Squirrel darted to the base of a pine tree and cleaned all the dirt off the nut in a rather OCD fashion. It was really cute. Then without further ado, he popped it into his mouth and carried it up the tree which then met with the local Squirrel Freeway System (aka neighbor's fence) and he bounced off. Not darted, not skittered, he actually boingy'd along the fence line.

Quite entertaining.

On a completely different, though perhaps similar note, I was lucky enough to capture this shot of a local Red-Tailed Hawk. He's been hanging out by a environmentally protected marsh area near the local library. I had the fortune of having my camera on me, so I pulled over, took a few pix and this was my favorite.


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Note to Self --- Self, when you have the funds to get a new camera, make sure the zoom capabilities knock your socks off.

Espresso Yarnings

Wednesday, 27 January 2010 03:20 pm
mutantenemy: (knit::yaaaaarn)
Yarn of the Day: "When confronted with a drizzly, gray day, knit something bright."


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And a one, and a two

Wednesday, 27 January 2010 03:10 pm
mutantenemy: (craft:: shaman)
Attended the 11th Annual Winter Pow Wow over at PCC this past weekend. This was my fifth year going and I always love to spend practically the entire afternoon there. The experience always leaves me feeling peaceful and rejuvenated all at the same time....co-existing amicably within my heart, mind, and soul.

When one attends Pow Wows over a period of time, one begins to recognize the regulars. Not the spectators, but the dancers. Faces have become familiar to me, as do the elaborate regalia the dancers wear. From the Double Bustle Dancers, to the Fancy Dancers, to the Shawl Dancers, to the Grass Dancers. It's beginning to breed a sense of familiarity in me, not in the "Oh, I've acquired knowledge of how they do pow wows" variety, but of the "Oh, I remember him or her from last time. I wonder how their grandfather is fairing as at the last pow wow they need prayers for him?"

The drums shook up my soul from its complacent slumber and my feet would not stop thumping to the rhythm of the heart. I shopped with the vendors (acquired a very simple but cool Dance Stick) and relished in the Natives' community. It felt like home. Oh, and I devilishly indulged in some AWESOME fry bread, one of my culinary weaknesses. A little butter, a little honey, and you are on a first class ticket to heaven. Seriously.

I believe my favorite moment occurred when an Elder, who was a Vet of the Korean War, was honored with the Flying Cross and his high school diploma. I actually got teary eyed as he merely nodded at the medal in a I-Was-Only-Doing-My-Job as a matter of fact, yet embraced warmly the diploma presented to him by the school principal. Second place goes to the Native toddler, donned in traditional dress, going out into the center of the dance circle and enthusiastically performing the Chicken Dance. The drummers even played a special honor song for that little guy. Priceless.

mutantenemy: (humour::kitty and the spider)
Two years ago today as I was reeling from the loss of my furrkid, Embers Grand Dame, I found myself at the Humane Society searching for a new purry companion. Three hours and seven cats later, I was empty handed and heavy hearted as I made my way to the door. Suddenly, in a playroom, I spotted a scotch coloured cat sitting rather Buddha-like, squinting, and mouthing a meow. I could not hear him due to the room's windows, but seeing made me think, "Aw, what the heck. I'll break my rule and look at a young, boy cat."

The volunteer tossed us into a room together and I waited, seated upon the floor with my back against the bench. After one pass around the room to make sure nothing dangerous was within, Rufus (for that was his name back then), hopped up onto the bench and squinted at me. "So there, buddy. Would you like to come home with me?" His response? A loving squint and he touched his nose to mine. I cried.

From that day forth we have been best buds ever since. I love him, I adore him. He makes me laugh and he has kept me sane. Jameson, thank you for picking me. Happy Anniversary and Happy 3rd Birthday buddy!

Too Girly?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 12:47 pm
mutantenemy: (elphaba::insert evil cackle here)
Short post today as I must focus on some hardcore knitting with my prayer shawl due tomorrow. But I shall leave you with a photo from yesterday's lovely jaunt with Innowen.


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Holy shit. That's a lot of pink.
mutantenemy: (humour::bunny ear flop)
Yesterday was a fun one. I got to spend all afternoon with Innowen (what a treat!) as we perused through a bookstore on 23rd Avenue (aka "Trendy Third"). This particular bookstore was of the metaphysical bent, so there were many books, candles, journals, incense, and cds to pillage. In the end, we each left with one treasure. I grabbed, "The Red Book" because the voice it's written in made me laugh in a good way.

The weather decided to be cooperative with minimal drizzle, so we had some Mexican food for lunch, walked it off a bit while we window shopped, and then Innowen declared, "Cuppycakes!!" With the swiftness of a master, she whipped out her iPhone, did some fancy thumb dancing, and in seconds announced, "Just down on Flanders and 17th." And off we went.


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We each had two "dots" (mini-cuppycakes) and by the gods were they pretty and RICH. As we proceeded back to Trendy Third, I marveled at the neighborhood's synagogue and Innowen found "Daedalus", a new/used bookstore where we yet again we drooled over the treasures. Eventually we found the Tibetan/Hindu store I was searching for and I was able to procure a cute, little Ganesha for my shrine at home.

By 3pm we were too pooped to pop, so we made Starbux our home base as Innowen had plans to meet up with some writerly friends for a write-in that evening. "Would you like to join us?" Through a yawn, I accepted the invite and I'm glad I did. The ladies were a hoot and as Innowen and I were a bit loopy from the walking, strange things tumbled out of mouths. "Elitist M&M's" for example.

Eventually my tiredness won out and I headed home. It was a damn good day.

Espresso Yarnings

Sunday, 17 January 2010 12:44 pm
mutantenemy: (knit::have bag will knit)
Knitting Date at local Starbux. Taking a break from the lacey prayer shawl I'm currently working on.


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mutantenemy: (craft::priestess of orange)
One of my favorite LJ communities to watch (and occasionally participate in) is [profile] pimp_my_altar. They showcase stunning, creative, and endlessly inspiring altars, shrines, and magickal work spaces. You name the religion, they have it. I've seen serene Catholic shrines, vibrant Hindu shrines, simple college altars to the elements, elaborate Samhain altars, expansive Voudoun / Hoodoun work spaces, elegant Etruscan altars, and so much more.

They have been as small as a bedside table, to one altar taking up the entire width of a living room with numerous shelves and fireplace mantles to boot!

So with that in mind, I thought I would share with y'all my current working altar. Because I just feel like it and on some level I hope it inspires you to create a little altar in your home. It doesn't have to be magickal "per-se" or even religious, I know of folks who have a small shrine set up for a departed pet, or a simple stone next to a pen for a writing altar, or candles and flowers near the bird bath outside to honor the coming of spring. Whatever works for you because that is the essential factor: what works for YOU. Not the neighbor down the street, not your MOM, not even your spouse / partner in crime.


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What I love about altars is they can be so eclectic and so original. No two are alike. Altars and shrines help connect us to energies we wish to have in our lives. Think of them as conduits. The more energy, thought, and intent you put into them, the greater the benefits.

For me personally, I have several altars all through out my home. I have two traveling altars (one for writing, one for magick) made out of Altoid tins which I wrote about last month. I have a small shrine to my Embers Grand Dame. I have an outdoor shrine that is simply a fae statue and a bird feeder to honor the creatures of Air. I have a goddess shrine set up in my closet due to lack of space, but She doesn't mind. And then I have my working altar which I have pictured up above. )
mutantenemy: (misc::animated lantern glow)
The rain started to soak through my rain "resistant" hoodie by the time I made it to the front door. Huffing underneath the cold clouds, I took pride I was able to accomplish another 2.7 miles in my morning ritual. Alright, every OTHER morning ritual. As I breathed in the wind, I felt exhilarated that I could accomplish just about anything I set my mind to today.

Inside the cozy blanket of my house, I brewed a cup of caffeinated ambrosia and began shifting through the emails. I received notice that yet another person had removed me from their Friends List. Earlier this week it was on Dreamwidth and that person was more of the dark, artistic vibe. I was cool with that, but apparently she wasn't cool with my day to day sundries.

Today's came from LiveJournal and whereas I was initially bummed, in the long run no harm, no foul. She was well within her rights to take me off her list because, let's face it, she was very into writing about her shamanistic experiences. Me not so much. Our interests diverged and whereas I read her entries, I never commented. I did leave her a comment wishing her well and that I completely understood.

Then I started thinking about my blog and the entires it contains within its virtual pages. Lately, I have NOT been writing about my spirituality or shamanism because I've felt there's really been nothing to write about. I feel like I'm in limbo. Not dead, mind you, I still have some amazing dreams. Why just recently I've experienced some with me climbing up hills, soaring / flying down hills, opening doors / portals to other realms others in my dreams are unable to to, etc. It definitely has been interesting, so why have I not been sharing?

Somehow, somewhere, I have misplaced my Voice. I want to share, but I'm conflicted as to how. In my mind, I want to manifest my blog into something truly magickal and inspiring. But unlike other blogs which have a running theme (crafty, shamanic, opinion, political, etc), I realized mine lacks one. My interests are all over place and I have several fingers in different pots. I possess no masterful expertise in simply ONE thing; just intermediate know-how in dozens.

Jill of All Trades here. Pleased to meet you.

Do I wish to write my blog with "Slice of Life" pieces or opinionated rants? Quirky humour or deep intellectual thinky thoughts? My day to day shamanic stumbles or my inner revelations which I've finally grasped? Some blogs are scholarly, others are artsy, many are hilarious, and a few are quite the hidden treasure chests only if you know where to dig.

I spoke of this limbo to a dear friend of mine and she confessed to be inflicted with the same dilema. Where is our Voice? I laughed and being the smartass I am said, "Great. We are both experiencing metaphysical / creative laryngitis. Do they have a lozenge for that?"

We laughed.

"Do they make an app for that?," I asked, "Perhaps turn an iPhone into a dowsing rod so we could find our misplaced Voice? Like looking for one's car keys?" We laughed some more and, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if some genius out there does program such a nifty tool.

In closing, I suppose all I can say is bear with me. Some days will be dreadfully dull to read my blog, yet others will surprise you as I continue to search for my individual Voice. Perhaps I left it in the icebox?


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mutantenemy: (humour::bunny ear flop)


I understand there are city folks that resort to raising bunnies and chickens for sustainably. Home grown and home prepared without the pesticides or hormones does a body good. I was simply thrown to see it next to Resumes, Economics, and Home Buying.

Okay, okay. I found it funny, too.

January 13, 2008

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 03:29 pm
mutantenemy: (misc::candlelight)
From an old journal entry two years ago.

A few minutes before 12:00PM on Sunday, January 13th, 2008, my beloved furry companion Embers passed on into the Summerlands.

Last night her condition took a turn for the worst as she had become very quiet and very still and even winced a bit at some pain. But as she was one who never played by the rules, she lived through the evening, to be greeted with a perfectly sunny day (SUNday).

Since Friday evening she had stopped eating and drinking all together. And I believe her kidneys were starting to deteriorate. Plus, in one week she dropped more weight and weighed in at 4 lbs.

I had promised her and myself, that when she began to shut down, I would take care of her and end her discomfort. My intellect knew I was making the right choice; however, my heart kept pleading, "just one more day, just one more day." But I could not be that selfish. It was time to let the furry love of my life for the past thirteen years go.

All I can say was the vets were very sympathetic and professional. I got to spend quite a few moments giving Embers my peace, something I had done at least 10 times in the last 2 days. I thanked her; I honored her; and I cherished and loved her completely. I asked Great Spirit to take care of her. Then we let each other go.

The last thing she felt was my gentle scritching of her chin. The last thing she saw were my loving blue eyes.

Now my apartment feels hollow without her. No sounds of her squeaks and chirps. No feeling of her paws padding my thigh while I sit typing at the computer. No smell of her soft fur under my chin. My baby is gone from this world and it feels incomplete without her in it.

EMBERS
ADOPTED 10/1994 at 7 years of age.
PASSED AWAY 1/13/2008 at the age of 20.
FOREVER BURNING IN THE HEART OF EMBER


Embers "Grand Dame" left my life in body but not in spirit. I still cry for her. Her regal presence continues to be a part of my family as she watches, like a sentinel, from her own altar.


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J is for Jameson

Tuesday, 12 January 2010 10:59 pm
mutantenemy: (misc::gempunk)
Long day.

Almost forgot to post.

My bad.

Here. Have some cutez.


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My medicine

Monday, 11 January 2010 07:55 pm
mutantenemy: (craft::i employ magical thinking)
Not much to blog about today as it was fairly uneventful. So instead, I shall present to you a picture of a knitting project I completed a while back.

Roughly a month or two ago, I purchased some recycled yarn at Powell's Books. It was stranded together by old Hindu saris and Tibetan robes. The colours put a kaleidoscope to shame and I desperately wanted to knit something out of it. The end product -- a new medicine bag.


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My medicine bag is very personal as it has evolved with me over the past decade and change. But never once have I had the skills or the know-how to make one. All past pouches were bought at new agey stores or at authentic Native American Powwows. The colours I chose to knit for this one are deliberate, as is the charm hanging from the flap. That charm was gifted to me ages ago by a very dear friend who told me, "This is one of the rock drawings found on the Columbia Gorge. She was a Native American Chief and her name was She Who Watches. When I saw it, I knew it was meant for you." This was before years of magickal and spiritual studies and, gosh darn it, he nailed it before I knew my Self.

January the Grey

Saturday, 9 January 2010 01:29 pm
mutantenemy: (humour::eeymo)
I'm not entirely sure what my damage has been for the past two days. I thought I was coming down with a cold, but it turned out to be an acute attack of allergies. I'm sleeping a lot and my enthusiasm is a deep shade of Blah. One friend suggests I have become sensitive to barometric changes. Personally, I think it's just the curse of January.

January has always been the least spectacular month of the year. No major holidays (at least fun ones like Halloween or Christmas) and everything just appears to be grey. Grey skies, grey ground, grey people who are recuperating from the previous two months of "cheer", grey work cubicles, and sheer grey boredom.

I'm trying to merely float on the surface of this January Grey, rather than allow it to pull me down into its murky and stinky depths. Toodling around on the computer has helped (Google Chrome extensions for Mac has been released!!), as has the butterscotch purring of my furkid, Jameson. He helps chase the whispy grey tendrils away.

Tomorrow will be a treat. One of my best friends and I are meeting up for coffee and knitting. Not necessarily Pints & Purls, but more like Lattes & Knits? Steamed Stitches? Expresso Yarnings?


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Under the Weather

Friday, 8 January 2010 06:55 pm
mutantenemy: (Default)
The irony of it.

I write a post about not being a Slave to my laziness and what happens? I've come down with a bit of a cold which has forced me to be in bed all day.

Ah, the gods have a sense of humour.

This was the view from my bed: Jameson The Hunter.


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